If you thought things couldn't get much worse for the Boston Celtics than they did on Monday, you are sadly mistaken. Dallas is a very good team, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are far superior. The C's will have their work cut of for them when they face Kevin Durant and the rolling Thunder at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday night (TV/Radio: ESPN/WEEI).
Once a proud and powerful team themselves, the Celtics have fallen victim to father time. The Big Three have slowed down dramatically this season, and despite the valiant efforts of star floor general Rajon Rondo, the losses have been piling up. After winning nine of ten games, the Celtics have dropped four in a row and six of their last seven.
The latest Celtics' skid has featured a pair of losses to the hapless Detroit Pistons, as well as losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls. Boston' latest mishap came against the Mavs on Monday night. Dirk Nowitzki's first half performance put the C's in a big hole, and the reigning NBA Finals MVP finished with 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead Dallas past Boston, 89-73.
The loss wasn't surprising in the least, seeing that the team was without Rajon Rondo (suspended for two games) and Kevin Garnett (personal matters). Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox both left the game in the third quarter with injuries, and the C's are already without reserve Brandon Bass, leaving them with two healthy bigs heading into Wednesday.
Oklahoma City has won three in a row and nine of 12 games in the month of February. Durant has stepped up his game recently, notching a career-high 51 points in a 124-118 overtime win against the Denver Nuggets. In Oklahoma City's game Monday, Durant had 31 points to lead the Thunder to a 101-93 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
Two teams heading in opposite directions usually makes for a blowout game. Unfortunately, with the Celtics being without Rondo and possibly Garnett, O'Neal and Wilcox, that blowout will most likely go the way of the Thunder.